Next time someone demands Corbyn condemn Venezuela, ask them what Theresa May has said about Saudi Arabia recently

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 08 August 2017 10:30
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Picture:(AFP/Getty)

Journalist Kevin Maguire has compared Jeremy Corbyn's 'silence' on the situation in Venezuela to Theresa May's sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Corbyn, in his years as a back bench MP, repeatedly praised the government of Venezuela because it was a socialist government.

This isn't the first time his remarks when he was untethered by responsibility of office have come back to haunt him as the leader of the opposition.

Corbyn has been on the record calling the Venezuelan government a good thing.

Upon the death of Hugo Chavez, the dictatorial leader of the country from 1999 to 2013, Corbyn expressed sadness.

Chavez was replaced by current president, Nicolás Maduro.

Now in 2017, more than 120 people have died during anti-government protests. Corbyn has been under pressure to condemn the suppression.

In a statement on Monday, Corbyn said:

I am very sad at the lives that have been lost in Venezuela.

The people that have died - either those on the streets or security forces that have been attacked by people on the streets - all of those lives are terrible for the loss of them.

There has to be a dialogue and a process that respects the independence of the judiciary and respects the human rights of all.

He also praised the intervention made by President Macron of France for the government and the protestors to engage in dialogue, and reiterated the need to respect the independence of the judiciary.

His statement ended:

What I condemn is the violence done by any side and all sides in this.

Violence is not going to solve the issue.

Conservatives, journalists, and some former Labour MPs have criticised his stance.

Theresa May and arms to Saudi Arabia

Kevin Maguire, the associate editor of the Daily Mirror, a traditionally left leaning publication, responded to criticisms of Corbyn with this:

Maguire was referencing the sale of arms to the Saudi Arabia government in April 2017, on a personal trip made by the Prime Minister Theresa May.

Saudi Arabia is one of 30 countries which the Foreign Office's annual report on human rights has listed as 'a concern'.

The report detailed a few of its concerns:

There were some signs of modest progress in certain areas such as women’s rights in Saudi Arabia in 2016, but we continue to have concerns about gender discrimination, the death penalty, freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression. We also remain deeply concerned about the application of the death penalty.

In July the Independent reported on 20 countries from that same report, to which the government had also approved arms export licences in 2016.

These were mapped by indy100.

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There are no clean hands in politics.

HT BBC, Independent

More: Who sold more deadly arms to Saudi Arabia? Theresa May or Donald Trump?

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